Stephen King's Proposed New Ending For Pet Sematary Is Surprisingly Hopeful

John Lithgow in Pet Sematary.
John Lithgow in Pet Sematary.
Image: Paramount Pictures

Stephen King is not exactly known for things turning out all right. But the ending he suggested for the new film adaptation for Pet Sematary is actually kind of, dare I say, nice?


As reported by Entertainment Weekly, Stephen King, while watching an early cut of the recent adaptation, suggested his own take on how the film could possibly end. (I’m not gonna tell you how it actually ends, so no worries there.)

The new ending follows along with the change that older sister Ellie, instead of toddler Gage, is the one who is resurrected by the evil in the dirt. It opens with Gage, after the final conflict between his family and Ellie, wandering alone.

“I talked about an ending where Gage is walking up the middle of the road. We see dawn, and we hear a truck coming, and think, ‘Oh my God, he’s gonna get greased in the road. That’s how this is gonna end!’” King told EW.

“Then at the last second, this woman pulls him out of the road and rescues him, and says, ‘Where’s your mommy and daddy?’” he continued. “And that’s how you end the thing.”

That’s honestly a pretty clever idea. It offers a weird sort of creepy hope to the very end of the film—maybe Gage will go on to live a normal, not-tinged-by-evil life? While also referencing the original 1983 story in a way fans might appreciate.

While King was never known for his brilliance in adapting his own work to film, that’s a pretty good idea there. And as for the hopefulness of it at all? King told EW, “I’m a sucker for a happy ending.” Sure you are.


Pet Sematary is in theaters now.

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io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.



The blogosphere reaction to Stephen King’s suggested ending is really weird. More often than not I’m seeing headlines surprised that the ending suggested-by-king is hopeful...

Have you guys never read a Stephen King novel... ever?

The heroes usually win. The good guys usually survive. Often the lovers end up together. The monster defeated. King writes dark stuff but it often (more often than not) has happy / hopeful endings. Doc and his mother survived in The Shining. The vampire was staked in Salem’s lot. Charlie escaped in Firestarter and exposed The Shop to the world. In Misery the author survives and escapes Annie once and for all. And most of the kids in It survive, and some even live relatively happily ever after. In silver bullet (Cycle of the werewolf) the werewolf is killed and the sister learns to appreciate her brother.